India, UK reboot ties: Focus on enhancing defence and anti-terror cooperation

In the first meeting between their leaders after Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, India and the United Kingdom unveiled a decadal vision to reboot their multi-faceted relationship, with Britain offering its support for the Make in India project of joint defence manufacturing and encouraging the rise of India as a major global player.
The two countries also decided to scale up their counter-terror cooperation, with Britain supporting India’s stand on collective global action against states that sponsor terrorism and provide sanctuaries to terrorists.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her British counterpart Theresa May held wide-ranging talks at the stately Hyderabad House in New Delhi on November 7, their first full-spectrum meeting since May became the prime minister of the UK in July. The outcomes that emanated from the talks indicated a deepening of economic and strategic partnership between the two countries, which was crystallised in the joint statement entitled “India-UK Strategic Partnership looking forward to a renewed engagement: Vision for the decade ahead.”
The broad narrative that emerged from the talks between PM Modi and Theresa May was the political resolve of the two sides to reinvigorate this crucial bilateral relationship, with Britain supporting India’s greater international role, and its global aspirations for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

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Theresa May unveils vision for post-Brexit India-UK ties, lauds India as a leading power

With the overarching focus on refashioning ties with New Delhi in the aftermath of London’s planned exit from the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May has glowingly described India as the UK’s “most important and closest” friend and “a leading power in the world” as she begins a three-day visit to the world’s fastest growing economy on November 6.
Ahead of her first bilateral visit to a non-EU country, May outlined an ambitious agenda for dovetailing British capital and expertise to help fructify India’s development agenda pivoted around Make in India, smart cities and the spurring of an ongoing digital revolution.
In an article published in the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ a day before May holds talks with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on November 7, she lauded India and its leader, who is “undertaking a far-reaching programme of reform.” “
For India, seeking clarification on the British government’s visa policy will be a top priority. May’s hard-line views on curbing immigration and tightening of visa rules has generated concern and anxiety in India. Read more….

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Britain targets India: From courted to courtier

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France, Germany and Canada in early April this year in his first official trip to Europe. Rafale fighter jets, increasing manufacturing through the Make in India campaign, urging the EU to move forward on the stalled FTA, and attracting trade and investment featured on the agenda.

While PM Modi has stated that he “usually tries to visit two to four nations together” in convenient clusters, the UK that has been desperately courting India was missing on his travel agenda. While Britain erects a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at London’s Parliament Square in a desperate attempt to entice India, amid all the hysteria in India involving Modi’s visits to relevant countries and vice versa, Britain has been greatly sidelined.

In 2014, five prominent UK politicians made official visits to India from Foreign Secretary William Hague to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy PM Nick Clegg. Indeed, Prime Minister David Cameron himself has visited India three times since assuming office in 2010, including twice in 2013, professing that India is Britain’s “partner of choice” and “relations with India are at the top of the UK’s foreign policy priorities”.

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